Alumni Stories

Nobuko Masuda

Interior Design

Interior Designer, VeenendaalCave, a NELSON Company
The Art Institute of Atlanta

Nobuko Masuda

My education brought out my creativity, gave me a strong design foundation, and shaped me as a designer. Nobuko Masuda , Interior Designer, VeenendaalCave, a NELSON Company Bachelor of Fine Arts in Interior Design, 2014 , The Art Institute of Atlanta

Works on Schematics, Design Presentations, Coordinates with Contractors and Engineers

Nobuko Masuda is an interior designer at VeenendaalCave, a NELSON Company. Her typical day includes attending a team meeting to go over the schedule and task list—then moving on to work projects. “The tasks vary depending on the project phase.  Sometimes I meet with clients, work on schematic plan sketches or design presentations, or coordinate with contractors and engineers,” she says.

She adds that every project brings a new learning experience. She describes a project where she worked on a 100-year-old building. “I collaborated with our contractors and engineers to solve various problems, such as uneven floors, structural issues, and design conflicts. I learned a lot through this project and took the lessons into new projects. All of these challenges make me a better designer.”

Nobuko understands the importance of taking ownership of work and projects. “In the real world, sometimes it means staying late at work. Sometimes it means working on weekends to meet a deadline. In the end, if you want to be known for your work and rewarded for it, you need to make sacrifices.” 

Nobuko, who in 2014 earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Interior Design from The Art Institute of Atlanta, says that her education brought out her creativity and provided a strong design foundation. “The work load and curriculum were demanding, but I took it one step at a time. All the work taught me skills that will be useful for years to come.” She adds that current students should stay current with trends by reading, watching, and observing. “Allow things to influence you in a positive way so that it refines and polishes your design skill and aesthetic. Openness and exposure is the key to have a creative environment.”

She mentions that she is challenged by giving presentations, but is working to overcome her fear—motivated by the positive responses she receives to her designs. “I'm not the most outwardly social person in the world. Giving presentations is the hardest part of the whole design process for me. I'm learning to expand this limit every day, growing every time I get a new project, and refining my hard and soft skills as a professional.  At the end of the day, when clients tell me that the space designed is better than anything else they ever seen, it is the best feeling in the world.”

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